E. T. Johnson to Mary [Farnham]
I shall not write a very long letter as I have written a number since I received one from you. You see by the date of my letter that we have moved from "Camp Straw" as we called it.
Tuesday night just dusk we had orders to move immediately with all our "trumpery"
for Senneca Docks, as the report was that there was five hundred rebel cavalry
that were going to try and cross the Potomac and take our provisions there, this
being the head of the canal as far as they can run a boat now there is an
immense lot stored here, and a large army that have to get there provisions from
Our company and company E halted on the bank of the river opposite where they could ford it and laid on our arms until morning, when we encamped near by in the woods. There are thre companies to guard the provisions and the river under Major Henry, our best officer. There is one company of R. I. cavalry on our right, and I think three more batteries near us. The Major says we could get 20,000 thousand troops here in four hours. The cavalry is not all that they are afraid of here, the report is that Jackons army is congregating at Leasburg only 12 miles from here, and there has been a number of prisoners take and negroes that come in say that Jackson's army is in a starving condition they say all they have to live on is green corn and apples and that they are feared of being surrounded by our army. they think this is one of the three places that they will try
make their escape. There was they say 66,000 troops started from Arlington Hights, where we were, day before yesterday in this direction, undoubtedly coming near here as we are near the rebel army. I hope if there is power under heaven that we will be able to bag the whole of Jackson's force, we have command of three passes across the Mountain and I see no reason why we wont give him a hard pull. One of our boys that was on guard yesterday said the cavalry brought in a rebel soldier, he said his clothes were tore all of from him and his shirt was the color of the dirt and an old hat on the most degraded looking fellow he ever saw. He said he tryed to talk with him but could get but little out of news out of him
We probably will stay here at present but cannot tell we have no tents and will
be subject to a march at the moments warning, but our regiment not being
probably will not go a great ways.
For breakfast we had baked beans. the way we bake them is to dig a hole in the ground long enough to put in three or four kittles and keep a fire enough in it to heat the ground and have a good bed of coals put in the cittles at night and cover them over with dirt so that it keeps them a stewing all night and in the morning when they take them out they look red and are the best I ever eat.
For dinner we had rice and "hard hack" as we call it and for supper we probably shall have fresh beef and "hard hack". The reason I tell you what we have is because you are always inquiring and I though you would like to know. I hope Ruth and Danver have got better before this, and trust they have as I got no letter from home in the last mail I got one from Mary Jane. I think it is time that I had one from Hattie and from home to. I have written two to you one and more to I guess. I should write to Ruth this time but I want say that probably there will be no bundle sent to us from Windsor till it is sent for by us here as we are so situated now that we do not want to have anything but what we can take care of in five minutes and not have nothing extra to carry. When they send I will let you know.
I just overheard something that the Captain said to one of the Lieut. and I think we are or will be tonight on the march again I don't know where but I guess at Edwards Ferry some 7 miles up the canal probably Give my love to grandmother and let me know how she is and to grandfather father and the rest that inquire.
I want you to send me, by mail, some postage stamps once in a while, say 50 cts. at a time, it is impossible to get them or to get change to get them with. I want you to keep a diary of them and a correct account of what you send and I will make it all right sometime. I have not any diary now but when I get one I will try and keep an account but may loose it. Writ as soon as you get this letter.
From your brotherE. G. Johnson
P.S. I am very glad to hear that Mr Farnham has got his commision. I suppose he is a Brattleboro now I wish I could be with him, but I am not homesick nor shall I be as long as we are on the move.